Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Van Halen
Album : 5150
Released : March 24, 1986
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 4.5/5 (One Of The Greatest Comebacks In Music History !)
Hard to believe it’s been 31 years.
“Always one more, you’re never satisfied. Instead of one for all with you it’s only one for me. So why draw the line and meet you half the way when you don’t know what that means ? ”
The above lyrics to the title track of Van Halen’s album 5150 are a message to singer David Lee Roth, who in 1986 was perceived as a selfish person with only his own interests in mind. As history has proven that was partly true, but as the years have shown Eddie Van Halen himself can be pretty difficult to deal with too. In 1985/1986 though he had every justifiable reason to have a chip on his shoulder. Here he was, one of the greatest guitar players, and songwriters on the planet, and yet without David Lee Roth none of that seemed to matter. Yes one must remember that in the mid 1980s Diamond Dave was not the clown he is known for today. At that time he was one of the greatest, most influential frontmen, and lead singers in music. He was the undisputed leader of the band Van Halen. When word got around that he had left Van Halen to pursue his solo career career, (the equivalent to Robert Plant leaving Led Zeppelin) Van Halen was all but left for dead.
It wasn’t just the fans, and music insiders that thought so, but even people close to the Van Halen camp. Their longtime producer Ted Templeman left the brothers hanging to work with David Lee Roth on his solo record “Eat Em’ And Smile”. And even the record company wanted the band to retire the “Van Halen” name without Roth. For months the band really had no idea what to do. Even thought of bringing in female singer Patty Smyth, whom Eddie had a close relationship with at the time. That didn’t seem to work, and out of nowhere Eddie would be given the suggestion to try Sammy Hagar from his mechanic who worked on both his and Sammy’s cars.
Not that it would be an easy move for Sammy either though. His solo career was more successful than ever, and his management told him that it would be impossible to replace someone like David Lee Roth. Plus Sammy would actually have to take a pay cut by giving up his solo career to join Van Halen. That wouldn’t matter though, because from the very first rehearsals it was evident that the chemistry was there, and that Sammy was the perfect person to help Eddie get his confidence back. Especially since Sammy was a guitar player too, and actually encouraged Eddie to experiment with his music, where Dave was against it.
In the end Van Halen now with Sammy Hagar would prove all of their doubters wrong. 5150 would become the band’s first number one album, and sell millions of copies. One of the biggest comebacks in music history. Yes it’s hard to believe, but Van Halen would even become bigger with Sammy than they were with Dave (for awhile anyways.) Hard to believe it’s already been 31 years. It’s also funny how now that Diamond Dave is back in the band, and nowhere near the same talent that he used to be that many now want The Red Rocker back. One thing is for sure, if Sammy ever does reunite with Van Halen again it will only happen if Michael Anthony comes back too. Another example of how things have changed now. Dave does what Eddie tells him to do now. It’s pathetic Dave had no guts to demand Michael Anthony be brought back for a true reunion.
All songs written by Sammy Hagar, Edward and Alex Van Halen, and Michael Anthony.
“Good Enough” – 4:04
“Why Can’t This Be Love” – 3:47
“Get Up” – 4:37
“Dreams” – 4:54
“Summer Nights” – 5:06
“Best of Both Worlds” – 4:48
“Love Walks In” – 5:11
“5150” – 5:44
“Inside” – 5:02